Posts tagged "Sanchez"

Commonwealth v. Sanchez (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-052-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11360   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  BENJAMIN SANCHEZ.       Hampden.     December 9, 2016. – April 5, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Botsford, Lenk, Hines, & Gaziano, JJ.[1]     Homicide.  Burning a Dwelling House.  Abuse Prevention.  Evidence, Expert opinion, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement.  Witness, Expert.  Constitutional Law, Confrontation of witnesses, Waiver of constitutional rights, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement.  Practice, Criminal, Capital case, Confrontation of witnesses, Waiver, Admissions and confessions, Voluntariness of statement, Postconviction relief.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on August 27, 2009.   The cases were tried before Peter A. Velis, J., and a motion for a new trial, filed on May 20, 2015, was considered by Mark D. Mason, J.     Elaine Pourinski for the defendant. Bethany C. Lynch, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     GAZIANO, J.  In the early morning hours of July 12, 2009, a Springfield fire department rescue squad responded to a house fire and found the body of the defendant’s estranged wife on the living room floor.  She was transported to a hospital where it was determined that she had been strangled and stabbed.  At trial, the Commonwealth relied on circumstantial evidence to prove that the defendant had entered the house, assaulted the victim, and set the building on fire.  A Superior Court jury convicted the defendant of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty, arson of a dwelling house, and violating a G. L. c. 209A abuse prevention order. On appeal, the defendant claims that the evidence introduced at trial was insufficient to support his convictions of murder in the first degree and arson.  In addition, he raises the following claims of error:  (1) expert witnesses were allowed to testify about the substance of forensic testing results obtained by other analysts, in violation of his right to confrontation under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution; (2) his custodial statements to police were obtained without a valid Miranda waiver and were involuntary; and (3) the motion judge abused his discretion in denying the defendant’s motion for a new trial without an evidentiary hearing.  The defendant also asks that we grant him a new trial or reduce the verdicts pursuant to our authority under G. L. c. 278, § 33E.  We affirm the convictions and decline to reduce the degree of guilt […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 5, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Sanchez (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-034-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   14-P-1392                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  LUIS SANCHEZ. No. 14-P-1392. Bristol.     February 5, 2016. – March 23, 2016.   Present:  Green, Hanlon, & Henry, JJ. Controlled Substances.  Search and Seizure, Curtilage, Warrant.  Witness, Privilege.  Practice, Criminal, Motion to suppress, Required finding, Assistance of counsel, Instructions to jury.  Evidence, Constructive possession.       Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on September 28, 2012.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Renée P. Dupuis, J., and the case was tried before Robert J. Kane, J.     Brad P. Bennion for the defendant. Tara L. Blackman, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.      GREEN, J.  Among various challenges to his conviction of trafficking in one hundred grams or more of “crack” cocaine, in violation of G. L. c. 94C, § 32E, the defendant contends that a search warrant authorizing a search of his apartment did not extend to a free-standing shed in the backyard outside the three-unit apartment building.[1]  We conclude that the motion judge correctly concluded that the shed was a part of the curtilage of the apartment, so that the search authorized by the warrant properly extended to the shed.  Discerning no merit in the defendant’s other claims of error, we affirm. Background.  We summarize the findings of the motion judge on the defendant’s motion to suppress, reserving other facts for our discussion of the defendant’s other claims.  On August 28, 2012, New Bedford police Officer Jason Gangi and other members of the New Bedford police department executed a search warrant authorizing a search of the third-floor apartment at 101 Coffin Avenue and any persons present.  The building at 101 Coffin Avenue is a multi-family dwelling consisting of three apartments.  Police set up surveillance at the target location.  Two vehicles approached the location, and the defendant was a passenger in one of the vehicles.  Police stopped the defendant and obtained a set of keys from him.[2]  Using a key from the set, police opened the door to the third-floor apartment.  Within minutes after gaining entry to the apartment, Officer Gangi went to the backyard to search.  The entire backyard was fenced.  While in the yard, Officer Gangi discovered a locked shed and, using one of the keys on the key ring obtained from the defendant, unlocked a padlock on the shed door and gained access to the […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 23, 2016 at 8:56 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,